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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Teachers are substandard

I have previously calculated, on the basis of their SAT scores, that school teachers today have an average IQ of approximately 95.  And based on this email posted at Chaos Manor, it is clear that education majors have been the absolute dregs of academia for quite some time now:
I worked my way through college. The university I attended generously provided jobs to many students. One job I held was that of Computer Operator on the IBM 360/70 in the university computer center.

After my first semester working in the computer center, I worked the wake-up shift, 0600 – 0900. Many of the universities administrative computational jobs came to me to run because things were quiet at that time, and, thus, the demands on the CPU were less.

The university faculty senate had expressed some concerns about the school’s reputation, or rather the lack of it. They wanted to know why this was. So they compiled years of grades, punched them onto 80-column cards, and toted those cards down to the computer center where they spilled those data onto a tape. That took the better part of a day and all that evening which meant they did not have time to run the statistics on those data and print them out. Problem was that the computer center had promised Dr R, the president of the faculty senate, the report the following morning.

Charlie, my boss, left it to me on the morning shift to run the stats and print out the results. As soon as I woke the Beast, I ran the job. It printed out half a box of fanfold paper. I tore off the last page, picked up the printout, and took it to the counter to look through it.

Of course, I knew what this was and what it meant. I scanned to the math department. As, Bs, Cs, Ds, Fs, a few incompletes ― all the grades in the table. The distribution was normal but the mean was shifted slightly toward the lower end; that is, the department gave fewer As than expected and more Fs than expected.  I scanned to the physics department. Much the same story as with the math department but shifted even more toward the lower end.

I scanned to the department of education, and I said to myself, said I, "Oh, the shit’s gonna hit the fan." ED gave 80% As, 20% Bs, and nothing below a B.

This report exploded like a bomb in the faculty senate. Dr R, the president of the senate, made a motion his own self to sever the Department of Education from the rest of the university and another that admission to the School of Education would not give admission to the rest of the university. The recriminations were many and bitter. I heard that the President of the University called in the campus cops to restore order and prevent the threatened assaults.

I ran this report when I was a sophomore. When I graduated, the war was still on. So if you are an education major and you think I have no respect for you . . . you’re right. I don’t. Moreover, I won’t.
This also serves as a fitting response to those who ask how a mother can homeschool without a degree in physics, math, or womyn's studies.  The correct answer is: why do you think your children can be adequately educated by a collection of women with a sub-normal IQs whose only education is in what is quite literally the easiest possible course of collegiate study.

Labels:

177 Comments:

Anonymous hausfrau June 30, 2013 12:44 PM  

It takes a low IQ to endure educational bureaucracy.

Anonymous MrGreenMan June 30, 2013 12:54 PM  

No surprise there: In the last class required for math ed majors at a major moo U, we had an inverted distribution - one C, 8 As and Bs, 16 Ds and Fs. The 8 were the computer science and math guys. The C was the accounting woman. The 16 were all math ed majors.

I asked one of them one day about the ed department's requirement of a minimum GPA that was known to be higher than the engineering college, and how that would square with this class.

"Don't worry; I'll take three or four teaching methods courses to make up for it. You just have to make a multicultural bulletin board for each and you get an A. I'm just glad math is over and I can get back to teaching."

Anonymous Susan June 30, 2013 12:59 PM  

I am enjoying all the blame laying that the Union leaders are doing right now. Blame everything on us 'rich' white folks who don't want to give them all their money or have their kids associate with the poor folks, rather than their Olympic class epic failure in their chosen profession.

Meanwhile at least 60% of the profession sends their own kids to private schools to avoid the exposure to the brainwashing and pervs that infect the system.

Anonymous MrGreenMan June 30, 2013 1:02 PM  

What was it Fred Reed said? Smart, pretty women used to become teachers; they now become lawyers, fail to reproduce, and speed the collapse of America. Stupid, angry women suitable only for farm or factory work now become teachers. America continues to lose while spending more money on education than anyone, anywhere...and the stupid kids feel good about themselves, and creatures of the Left make excuses for their union pals and demand more money. All goes according to plan.

Anonymous Discard June 30, 2013 1:04 PM  

aack in the 1970's, California passed the Ryan Act, establishing programs at the state colleges for single subject teaching credential. The curriculum looked like any other program, until the last year, whereupon easy classes on pedagogy replaced the difficult courses normally expected for seniors.
So, if at the end of your third year you're carrying a 2.0 GPA, you could switch your major to the Ryan Act Single Subject Teaching Credential and dodge those final hurdles. Beautiful, deliberately steering the dumbest into teaching.
BTW, Leo Ryan died in the People's Temple mass suicide down in Guyana in the late '70s. Too bad his life's work seemed to be committing suicide for us all.

Anonymous hvflykrur June 30, 2013 1:10 PM  

I am reminded of something I heard from a man who had briefly majored in education at a Swedish university: every Monday morning, these university students would sit down on the floor, in a circle, and "share" what they had done during the weekend.

Blogger kilo papa June 30, 2013 1:13 PM  

Average teacher I.Q. Is 95?

So that makes their I.Q. approximately 80 points higher than the typical conservative Christian.

Good to know. Thanks!!

Anonymous Teenage Jail June 30, 2013 1:17 PM  

"Average teacher I.Q. Is 95?

So that makes their I.Q. approximately 80 points higher than the typical conservative Christian."

Not even an entertaining anklebite. You can do better, or maybe you can't.

Blogger kilo papa June 30, 2013 1:21 PM  

Hi Teenage Jail, thanks for taking time away from your masterbation schedule to comment!!

How's your syphilis coming along?

Is it worse than your Mothers?

Anonymous You're Welcome June 30, 2013 1:23 PM  

Somewhat related, has there ever been a serious study of IQ differences based on political views?

Anonymous The other skeptic June 30, 2013 1:24 PM  

So that makes their I.Q. approximately 80 points higher than the typical conservative Christian.

It is interesting that certain Lebanese Christians (as Steve Sailer points out) are very intelligent, and yet, they must surely be conservative Christians.

Blogger Rantor June 30, 2013 1:27 PM  

@kp, amusing assertion without basis in fact, you may just be a school teacher...

As a high school student, I remember helping my mother with her graduate work for her librarian certificate... Not that is was difficult for her, she just valued my opinion. She had to design bulletin boards, three dimensional book displays (let's put different size boxes under a tablecloth and set the books on those) and discuss marketing for the library. Real complex stuff.

Anonymous The other skeptic June 30, 2013 1:28 PM  

Given the evidence from the Zimmerman trial, those studying Criminal Justice must have lower IQs.

Blogger kilo papa June 30, 2013 1:28 PM  

@The other skeptic

Intelligent Christians is sort of like jumbo shrimp.

A huge contradiction.

And a weird texture.

OpenID matamoros June 30, 2013 1:30 PM  

[So that makes their I.Q. approximately 80 points higher than the typical conservative Christian."]

Not even an entertaining anklebite. You can do better, or maybe you can't.


What do you expect from an education major?

Blogger Unknown June 30, 2013 1:34 PM  

Out of curiosity, what were the IQs of the people who taught Vox and his commenters to read, write, and cipher? Were they morons? If so, how did you folks learn to construct grammatically correct, parseable sentences and dabble in statistics demonstrating some understanding of the concepts?

Anonymous VD June 30, 2013 1:35 PM  

Intelligent Christians is sort of like jumbo shrimp. A huge contradiction.

So you say, and yet, there are far more Christians at the highest intelligence level than atheists. Someone hasn't been keeping up with his reading....

Anonymous The other skeptic June 30, 2013 1:36 PM  

Intelligent Christians is sort of like jumbo shrimp.

A huge contradiction.


No more so than those who claim to believe in Evolution but forbid it from affecting the brain (and thus intelligence of different groups.)

Moreover, Newton was a Christian. As I recall, he is credited with inventing Calculus (along with others) and a bunch of Scientific disciplines.

OpenID matamoros June 30, 2013 1:38 PM  

Wait a minute. Punch Cards? Tape? When was this done, the 1960s?

Teaching is an easy gig. Higher pay than for real work, median pay 2010 $53,230 per year. "Because teachers usually work a ten-month year, their wages are reported annually."

From sodahead http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/how-many-days-per-year-does-a-teacher-work/question-1552159/ :

The average American worker:
52 weeks x 5 Days/week = 260 Days
4 weeks vacation/year = -16 Days*
10 holidays/year= -10
3 sick days/year= -3
3 personal days/year= -3
Total days worked 228 Days/ year
* 4 weeks vacation AFTER 4-5 years of employment
Work day is 8 hours WORK with 1/2 hr. unpaid lunch and 2/15 minutes break/day

The average teacher:
School year = 180 days
14 Holidays/year= -14
5 personal days/year= -5
7 Sick days/year- -7
? Vacation days/year= ? *
Total days worked 154 Days/ year
*I have heard rumors teachers get vacation time as well but not confirmed
Work day is 7 hours including a 1/2 hour PAID lunch and one hour FREE period/day

Blogger kilo papa June 30, 2013 1:40 PM  

What's the average I.Q. of the conservatives on this site, you ask?

Evidence shows it to be somewhere between Kirk Cameron's and Tim Tebow's------43.5 to 43.7.

Anonymous Lesbian Dorito Night June 30, 2013 1:42 PM  

@unknown brings up the old "the creation can't be more complex/smarter than it's creator" canard
That idea is wrong.

Anonymous VD June 30, 2013 1:44 PM  

Out of curiosity, what were the IQs of the people who taught Vox and his commenters to read, write, and cipher? Were they morons?

You seriously don't understand that the highly intelligent are not taught to read at school? I was reading when I was three. So, no, my parents were not morons. Most of my teachers were, however, which was why I spent quite a bit of my elementary school career in the library because they had literally nothing to teach me.

But you are obviously relatively new here, or you'd know that by five my son was writing books....

Anonymous XYZZY June 30, 2013 1:45 PM  

@Kilo Papa

Could you provide and cite said evidence for the IQ study RE: this site? Naked assertions aren't allowed here. (Put up or Shut up Rule)

Blogger RobertT June 30, 2013 1:46 PM  

What is this guy doing hassling Christians for no reason? He should be reveling in gay marriage, immigration reform and nsa monitoring. Or maybe he's just trying to get on Obama's good side. Perhaps he's thinking about applying for the atty general post and wants to establish a good track record for the nsa to pick up.

Anonymous righteous gobbler June 30, 2013 1:46 PM  

kilo papa torches Christians with such scathing wit.

Every time I get the flames patted out, I find myself subjected to yet another blast.

Blogger Penrose June 30, 2013 1:53 PM  

Tebow had a 3.77 gpa at UF.

Anonymous Catan June 30, 2013 1:54 PM  

You seriously don't understand that the highly intelligent are not taught to read at school? I was reading when I was three. So, no, my parents were not morons. Most of my teachers were, however, which was why I spent quite a bit of my elementary school career in the library because they had literally nothing to teach me.

Vox, do they really not understand that we're not taught to read in school?

This really speaks to me. I was taught to read at three as well, was reading the encyclopedia soon after, and snuck books around all through elementary public school, during class.

The crowning achievement was when I was banned from the school library for reading too much in class.

Anonymous The other skeptic June 30, 2013 1:59 PM  

Tebow had a 3.77 gpa at UF.

He is presidential material!

Anonymous Gen. Kong June 30, 2013 2:01 PM  

As Uncle Yusif always used to say....

Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.

Anonymous Laz June 30, 2013 2:02 PM  

"Average teacher I.Q. Is 95?

So that makes their I.Q. approximately 80 points higher than the typical conservative Christian.

Good to know. Thanks!!"

"Hi Teenage Jail, thanks for taking time away from your masterbation schedule to comment!!

How's your syphilis coming along?

Is it worse than your Mothers?"

"Intelligent Christians is sort of like jumbo shrimp.

A huge contradiction.

And a weird texture."

"What's the average I.Q. of the conservatives on this site, you ask?

Evidence shows it to be somewhere between Kirk Cameron's and Tim Tebow's------43.5 to 43.7."

Look like violations of blog rules 2,5 and 8 to me.

Anonymous Noah B. June 30, 2013 2:04 PM  

My grandmother graduated from TCU in 1949 with a physics and math double major. She had very similar stories to tell about the education majors she knew, most of whom didn't study and always ended up with A's. There was a good deal of anger from the hard science and math students at the grading policies in the education department even in her day, since the grading was so lax that the education majors were consistently getting the valedictorian spots.

Comparing physics and education majors isn't like comparing apples and oranges -- it's like comparing apples and bread mold.

Anonymous Niall June 30, 2013 2:07 PM  

Unknown wrote: "Out of curiosity, what were the IQs of the people who taught Vox and his commenters to read, write, and cipher? Were they morons?"

A high IQ isn't required to teach children the basics of arithmetic and how to read letters and words; the teachers I had as a boy were reasonably intelligent, competent people, but I don't imagine most of them were great geniuses or needed to be. (Mind you, that was in 1970s Britain. The teachers I see today here in Canada are of a notably lower standard, and the average competence of their pupils reflects that).

Learning is a lifelong process, or ought to be, and any reasonably curious person will learn far more on their own about the world than they will do at school; not only that, they will also inevitably discover that certain important facts they were taught at school were incorrect, being subject to political or other agendas. A significant amount of "education" today is actually indoctrination, which can only be resisted on an individual basis.

Anonymous Stickwick June 30, 2013 2:14 PM  

kp definitely hasn't been around here very long or he wouldn't accuse Vox's commenters of being "conservative."

Out of curiosity, what were the IQs of the people who taught Vox and his commenters to read, write, and cipher? Were they morons?

My elementary school teachers let me go at my own pace, and so I pretty much taught myself. It was great. Middle school and thereafter was a whole different story. I skipped the ninth grade, because by then I was so utterly bored by school that told my parents I had no intention of going anymore. So Dad talked the school district into letting me try to test into the 10th grade, which I did with ease. There was literally nothing for me to learn in public school -- everything I knew I got from independent study, which put me miles ahead of the average student in my grade. Tenth grade was a snooze, too. It wasn't until we found an IB program with a substantial science/math/English core that I even had to try; that was largely due to the fact that the IB teachers volunteered for the harder courses and were a cut above.

Blogger hadley June 30, 2013 2:16 PM  

Kilo Papa: "Is it worse than your Mothers?"

KP, Yo mama so fat she gots to turn sideways to get throo the do'!

Blogger tz June 30, 2013 2:19 PM  

how a mother can homeschool without a degree in physics, math, or womyn's studies.

The latter is for the brainless, but even with a few STEMinists, the number of women with even a baccalaureate in physics and math is probably smaller than the population of some of those soon-to-be ghost towns in the rust belt.

In high school, my geometry teacher was an english major.

Blogger hadley June 30, 2013 2:22 PM  

KP: "Intelligent Christians is sort of like jumbo shrimp. A huge contradiction. And a weird texture.

I think the word you are looking for is "oxymoron". Please at least try to keep up. Try Roget's Thesaurus or the OED.

Anonymous Cederq June 30, 2013 2:27 PM  

OMG, I had a flash back, I thought for a second Tad had returned... No, just some new schmuck named Kilo papa, does he think he is military?

Blogger Travis Kurtz June 30, 2013 2:29 PM  

In the secondary ed field teachers are required to be certified in a specific area. I believe history teachers in PA need 60 credits in social sciences. There is no doubt educational courses are too easy, but such courses make up less than the required courses to graduate. I think it's important to separate the requirements for secondary education teachers and elementary education teachers.

Anonymous bobo June 30, 2013 2:31 PM  

Fun math story from the '80s...
At Louisiana Tech, 4 miles from Grambling State Univ., we non-engineering majors would occasionally take a class at GSU if we wanted to avoid a certain prof or just get an easy A.
My friend Lisa, a forestry major, needed Trig, so she called the math dept @ Grambling and asked when the Trig classes were scheduled for the next semester...silence on the line...
"Uhhhh...we don't teach dat straight Trig no mo'...uh, we incorporates it in our other mafs."

A state university that offers no Trigonometry. "What'chu talkin' 'bout Willis?"

Anonymous The other skeptic June 30, 2013 2:32 PM  

Move over Same Sex Marriage now it is Polygamy's turn.

Anonymous Anonymous June 30, 2013 2:32 PM  

Clearly you hit a nerve with kilo papa. She must be a public school teacher. Probably art teacher... all the really vitriolic ones are art teachers. Also she tells her cats how much of a mean nasty person VD is.

Azimus

Blogger RobertT June 30, 2013 2:33 PM  

If you think teachers are substandard, you should check out the prosecutors in the Travon Martin case. They continue to display their incompetence by putting on witnesses for the prosecution that testify for the defense. If that's all they have, why are they prosecuting?

Blogger tz June 30, 2013 2:33 PM  

My experience parallels Stickwick's, Catlan's and Vox's though I did 2nd grade in the first half of first. I coasted through 11th then went to the state university honors college as a Sophomore since 11th was all AP courses. Yes, the library was where I escaped the mind numbing boredom. I'd finish my "homework" in class.

Even before the internet there were all kinds of homeschooling resources. Now it is easier - the main problem is keeping them balanced (no, you really need to do your english lesson, I know you want to finish the differential equation book, but you need Shakespeare too).

Anonymous c June 30, 2013 2:34 PM  

I used to get into more problems in secondary school and community college with the teachers and instructor because of the unmitigated lower IQ of those that were teaching me and knew far more after reading the course book and research prior to starting classes then they did, and I consider myself a midwit.

Anonymous Cederq June 30, 2013 2:35 PM  

c should be Cederq above.

Blogger tz June 30, 2013 2:38 PM  

As to Christians v.s. Atheists on intelligence, there is no contest. Christians can usually argue both sides and wipe the floor with the Atheists. The Atheists hurl epithets, ad-hominems, try to quote the bible, and get very evasive when really simple questions on the actual evidence, facts, data, analysis, statistics, mathematics are asked as applied to abiogenesis or TENS. Usually the Christian has to explain the question.

There are dumb Christians and dumb Atheists. There are few intelligent Atheists. (The most intelligent I've found is Penn Jillette, and his book is more humor).

PZ has reason to fear a debate.

Anonymous Noah B. June 30, 2013 2:42 PM  

@RobertT

It occurs to me to wonder if the prosecution might be using the trial to inculcate the public with all of the circumstances indicating Zimmerman's innocence. If not, they're definitely idiots for conducting the trial in this manner.

Anonymous Myrddin June 30, 2013 2:42 PM  

Went for teaching because I would get summers off.

Aced the Praxis test in my sleep. Passed every test with flying colors.

The teacher in charge, meanwhile, lit into the class after the mass had taken the Praxis. Seems I was the only one on that set who got through on the first try. Seems that the test results were embarrassing.

Flunked out because I was unwilling to admit that being white makes me an automatic racist. I'm the only one who flunked out.

I come to this blog because a large number of the commenters, and Vox besides, are smarter than me. I can't actually get that many other places.

"But, Myrddin! Ability to ace tests is no true measure of intelligence!"

The measure of intelligence in a U.S. education program is whether you buy the liberal "Women and minorities are only always good all the time, men and non-minorities are only always evil all the time" mythos. If I bought that, I'd've been their star student (unless I shared a class with black lesbian, obviously).

Pass that test, and the other tests don't much matter.

Anonymous A Visitor June 30, 2013 2:48 PM  

Moreover, Newton was a Christian. As I recall, he is credited with inventing Calculus (along with others) and a bunch of Scientific disciplines. As was the priest that came up with The Big Bang Theory!

I've been of the opinion for a few years that an education degree doesn't mean jack squat. If you want to teach something, you'd better either have experience in it, have majored in it, or know how to teach.

Good on that university president for taking such a drastic step. If only others had the courage...

What's the average I.Q. of the conservatives on this site, you ask?

Evidence shows it to be somewhere between Kirk Cameron's and Tim Tebow's------43.5 to 43.7.


Controlling for Vox's, I'd say 100 at least.

Anonymous Noah B. June 30, 2013 2:49 PM  

@tz

Perhaps the more intelligent atheists see that there is little reason to argue in favor of atheism. Dawkins makes the best case that I'm aware of for atheists to argue with those holding religious beliefs in The God Delusion, yet his argument strikes me as narcissistic and entirely unconvincing.

Blogger Bob Wallace June 30, 2013 3:03 PM  

I graduated from a university that was the largest producers of teachers in a very populated state. The Education majors I met were all women, and they were all stupid.

I did know one guy who was an Education major - a friend of mine. He was so disgusted when he got into a job he left the field and got an M.S. in Economics and is now working on his Ph.D.

His stories about the incompetence of teachers (and most especially about the cowardice of principals) are endless.

Anonymous ApolloK June 30, 2013 3:05 PM  

The crowning achievement was when I was banned from the school library for reading too much in class.

A similar thing happened to me, too. Our high school required a certain number of reading "points", and I exceeded the point requirement 3/4 of the way through eighth grade. I was reading 1000 pages of novel a week and it was my stepmother who forbade me from reading to make me go outside. Parents took my library card, but I had memorized the number, which was all you needed to request and check out books. I can still remember it to this day: 21389003314947.

Anonymous The other skeptic June 30, 2013 3:06 PM  

It occurs to me to wonder if the prosecution might be using the trial to inculcate the public with all of the circumstances indicating Zimmerman's innocence. If not, they're definitely idiots for conducting the trial in this manner.

It occurs to me that the prosecution might have marching orders to bring on the black riots in Florida so they can institute martial law, and suspend the constitution.

Anonymous Noah B. June 30, 2013 3:12 PM  

If that were the goal, why not just have the charges dropped on some procedural technicality? Then hold a press conference, reiterate that Zimmerman is clearly guilty, and state that because of a broken justice system, a trial cannot be held.

Publicly airing the evidence of Zimmerman's innocence should reduce the likelihood and severity of riots.

Anonymous Harsh June 30, 2013 3:12 PM  

Average teacher I.Q. Is 95?

So that makes their I.Q. approximately 80 points higher than the typical conservative Christian.


And still a good 10 points above yours apparently.

(Should I explain that r e a l s l o w l y so your brain can keep up, kilo?)

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother June 30, 2013 3:15 PM  

Kilo Papa,

My mother has a high school diploma from Jeff Davis HS, and was able to teach me to read from the KJV when I was 4. I didn't hit school until I was 6.

My father did his graduate work at Columbia in the 1950's, and drove a cab to pay for it. Even then, at Columbia, he told me the College of Education was widely recognized as the campus idiots.

Anonymous ApolloK June 30, 2013 3:16 PM  

The anklebiters here kind of remind me of a story my father told me about some barn cats. Dairy barns usually have big ventilation fans in them, and this particular barn had a massive fan with a ledge where the cats would sit. They would get spooked and try to escape through the apparent "window", which was really the shroud around giant metal fan blades spinning fast enough not to be visible. The farmer figured that if a cat was fearful or stupid enough to attempt such an escape it deserved the gruesome outcome.

If you feel the need to flee, don't leap through that window - especially if you aren't capable of telling whether or not there's a fan.

Blogger MidKnight June 30, 2013 3:24 PM  

I got started maybe a little later than some - I can't remember when it was but some teacher in the pre-school range handed my parents a phonics book when my father was stationed in Quantico - and I remember many happy hours reading through various books in my dads office while in Kindergarden. I was going through Heinlein and C.S. Lewis by first grade after we'd moved to Georgia.

Anonymous The other skeptic June 30, 2013 3:26 PM  

Publicly airing the evidence of Zimmerman's innocence should reduce the likelihood and severity of riots.

The vibrant people will not believe it in any case, and certain media organizations have too much invested in this spectacle for it to be cut short.

Anonymous Jill June 30, 2013 3:27 PM  

Sadly, this post just backs up my prejudices. I never could get along with public school teachers. From my childhood perspective, I saw them as loathsome people who wanted to believe they were extra-special, loving, and caring....to the kids who mattered (I wasn't one of those). I can recognize a teacher like a criminal can recognize a cop. Unknown, up above, wants to know who educated the people who comment here. Do you really want to know? I graduated from high school with sub par math skills, didn't know how to write an essay, and was generally ignorant of everything aside from what I learned from books. I taught myself grammar, spelling, and essay writing as an adult. I learned higher level math from professors (and from personal study; I had to do the personal study in order to test at a college level). Was this partly my fault for not being engaged with the system? Undoubtedly. But I'm kind of glad I was unteachable. It saved me from being even more retarded than I already am.

Blogger tz June 30, 2013 3:30 PM  

@Noah B

Peter Kreeft in some of his talks available on the net has mentioned an experiment he frequently does. He is a Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. He has the class divide up into atheists and theists. Both sides then have to argue THE OTHER SIDE's view. The theists have far better arguments against the existence of God than the atheists, and I suspect the Atheists have read Dawkins or such.

The problem is that Atheists don't really believe or want to understand atheism. They want moral license, but want to draw the line at an arbitrary place (e.g. Sam Harris), so they can have Gay or Bi orgies, but not be murdered or defrauded. So their ideas about God, good, evil, are argued as a rationalization of their concupiscence. Not about ultimate truth.

Anonymous Carlotta June 30, 2013 3:30 PM  

Who here did not learn to read until school? Wow kp, if that is all you got you are going to help send more running to home school.

And put me down for the group who got thrown out of class for correctly correcting teachers because Dad spent the evenings giving us an actual education. I clearly remember refusing to go back to kindergarten because they were a bunch of idiots who were just learning the alphabet.

Blogger Penrose June 30, 2013 3:45 PM  

"It occurs to me that the prosecution might have marching orders to bring on the black riots in Florida so they can institute martial law, and suspend the constitution."

We know what blacks will do if he's not guilty. I don't think it's a conspiracy though. Just failure.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza June 30, 2013 3:45 PM  

The NEA isn't into education but the very opposite of any learning or creating the love of learning.

I've said for maybe 15 years that school outside of the home and college was a waste. It was like a lesson in patience to tolerate sitting thru some of the schools I went to as part of state homeschooling requirements in the 90's. One or two days a week for maybe art, religion, math, I don't care to recall. Then again, I'm average intel but countless 'teachers' have had nothing to offer or teach me.

My example: I read that gaudy, awful play romeo and juliet at age 7 and hated it. I don't care for edgar e poe either or the catcher in the rye. Too emo, too screwy but if we want to call it a classssic, I wont debate it. Linsly Academy in Wheeling WV was teaching R & J to 9th graders, what a waste of time when there were other selections that could have leveled up student thinking. Or the time I had to sit thru absurd religion classes taught by heretics. Needless say, I was (asked to leave) expelled from 3 private schoolz and one public school by the time I was 15 for my disruptive questions, distractions and sophomoric protests.

Anonymous Matthew June 30, 2013 3:50 PM  

"Moreover, Newton was a Christian"

As was his more congenial and talented contemporary, Leibniz.

Anonymous Brain Death June 30, 2013 3:51 PM  

Ex GF is a PhD in ED. Not a brain surgeon by any means. Definitely had the arrogance to go with the "Doctorate" though.

Give me a waitress any day.

Anonymous Mike M. June 30, 2013 3:54 PM  

I had one teacher in high school who was truly brilliant. She told me that after getting her doctorate, she had concluded that Education should not be a recognized major, with the possible exception of early childhood material.

Pedagogy (and Journalism) are legitimate minors...but not majors. First you learn a serious subject, then you learn to teach what you majored in.

Blogger Unknown June 30, 2013 3:55 PM  

Vox, I do understand that the highly intelligent aren't taught to read at school. My wife and I raised a daughter who learned to read very well at home before she went to kindergarten.

However, many people have reasonable skills in the three Rs, and certainly all of them didn't learn without going to school.

As to your own stellar intelligence, why aren't you using it to discover cold fusion or simplifying string theory instead of ranting about teacher IQs?

Anonymous Mike M. June 30, 2013 3:55 PM  

And I, like Vox and others, found the Government schools woefully inadequate to the task of teaching a gifted student.

Anonymous DaveD June 30, 2013 4:02 PM  

As an Education major, I'd like to argue this. I really would. Any hope of doing so died a grisly death my sophomore year. During a discussion in an Ed class, the prof asked if people with Down's Syndrome were different from "normal" people. My response was "by definition, a person with extra chromosomes is different". One teacher wannabe informed me that chromosomes are not DNA. Another called me racist.

That same year, another professor & I were bantering about the cosmological arguement, chickens & eggs, and the Big Bang Theory. A nearby cute female wannabe teacher smiled cheerfully & announced "I watch the Big Bang Theory." The prof and I stared at each other like two tribesmen seeing a plane for the first time.

I think every parent sending their kids to public or private school should have to take a couple Ed classes just to get an idea of who is trying to teach their kids & of the philosophies they will teach by.

DD

Anonymous Carlotta June 30, 2013 4:02 PM  

Unknown define reasonable skills first and provide statistical evidence for your claim.
Thanks.

Anonymous kh123 June 30, 2013 4:02 PM  

"As to your own stellar intelligence, why aren't you using it to..."

Good lord; at least bake some brownies, or offer to work on the old car in the garage - something delicious or helpful - if it's going to be Disappointed Parental Mode from here on out.

Anonymous Augustina June 30, 2013 4:04 PM  

My experience was a great deal like Jill's. I was never engaged in school and looked for any excuse not to go. I was adept at faking sick. School was crushingly boring, full of bullies (including the teachers), and a colossal waste of time.

I graduated with sub par arithmetic skills. Once, as a senior, I applied for a job in a small market. They required that I be able to mentally calculate the 15% senior citizen discount. I couldn't do it, and was so embarrassed I fled the interview in tears. That's how prepared for the job market the public schools made me.

After my first year of college (yes, I actually got in) I decided that I could teach myself anything as long as I was willing to work hard. So I got a book and taught myself algebra. In one week. I was so amazed that it was possible that I decided to major in mathematics and physics. I took the honors course, was given a full merit scholarship and graduated Summa Cum Laude. My difficulties in school obviously had nothing to do with intelligence.

It goes without saying that I homeschooled my children.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein June 30, 2013 4:06 PM  

Tebow had a 3.77 gpa at UF.


Somewhat off topic.....
Yet topical......

Without further ado..
I present to you...
Congresswoman Rachel Jeantel...er, Corrine Brown

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgbBP9Em00A

Anonymous Carlotta June 30, 2013 4:08 PM  

DaveD I was begged to homeschool by my Grandfather who taught English Lit for 30 years. Of course he had that as his degree and then got a teaching cert. On his off time he was a successful GC because he grew up during the Great Depression and you never put all your eggs in one basket.

The last ten years were the worst of his life and he said he spent most of his time reading at his desk and breaking up fights. Between the teachers and the students ....the only thing I could do was homeschool.

Blogger Some dude June 30, 2013 4:09 PM  

@Harsh

And still a good 10 points above yours apparently.

Suhhhhweeet!

Anonymous VD June 30, 2013 4:12 PM  

However, many people have reasonable skills in the three Rs, and certainly all of them didn't learn without going to school.

Irrelevant. You didn't ask about "many people", you asked about me and my commenters. And I can't answer for them.

As to your own stellar intelligence, why aren't you using it to discover cold fusion or simplifying string theory instead of ranting about teacher IQs?

Because I have no interest in cold fusion or science fiction disguised as real science. Nor is a simple statistical analysis and the quotation of an anecdote tantamount to a rant.

Now a question for you. Why are you so sensitive about the readily observable fact that teachers have relatively low IQs on average?

Blogger Some dude June 30, 2013 4:13 PM  

@the other skeptic

Moreover, Newton was a Christian. As I recall, he is credited with inventing Calculus (along with others) and a bunch of Scientific disciplines.

The Mayans are also credited with having a form of Calculus. How about we say that living a consistent orderly life (even if it involves occasional human sacrifice) is conducive to creating interesting things, as opposed to whether those beliefs are in line with the Will of G-d or not.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein June 30, 2013 4:15 PM  

Publicly airing the evidence of Zimmerman's innocence should reduce the likelihood and severity of riots.


Correct responses:

A) Nigga, please.

B) You keep believin' that, playa.

C)Bwahahahahahahaha!

Blogger Unknown June 30, 2013 4:16 PM  

Jeez, Carlotta, get a secretary's job in an engineering company, software house, large construction firm, financial company or some such thing. You will find from observing your colleagues that "many people have reasonable skills in the three Rs". That way I don't have to do a statistical study and you can enlighten yourself with a trip through the real world.

Blogger Some dude June 30, 2013 4:18 PM  

@VD

Now a question for you. Why are you so sensitive about the readily observable fact that teachers have relatively low IQs on average?

Oh oh! I know this one! I know! I know! It's because he's fully committed to a value system that believes through using procedures created by committees composed mostly of socialist atheists, he can impose a safe and effective (read: controlled) environment upon the masses , particularly upon the bad menz (of wicked K-selected wolf types who don't obey the warren!). And because you are pointing out that those people both carrying out these policies, and by implication the one's responsible for creating those policies are complete idiots, it destroys his ego-security and raises up his terrible r-selected fears of being hunted down and eaten by a wolf.

What's my score?

Anonymous Catan June 30, 2013 4:22 PM  

However, many people have reasonable skills in the three Rs, and certainly all of them didn't learn without going to school.

That isn't the point. Someone forced to go to a class 8 hours a day on a schedule, forced to learn in a large, impersonal class, is a lot less likely to develop a passion for reading than a child taught to read at 3 years old, reading encyclopedias and novels when the rest of the kids in his kindergarten are already spoiled by 2-4 years straight of TV and no experience learning to read yet.

Thst is a HUGE gap. Utterly massive. By that time, a lot of the unfortunate kids are so addicted and spoiled by TV and instant gratification entertainment that they will NEVER attain the same love of reading they would have.

Anonymous Brain Death June 30, 2013 4:23 PM  

Many of my ex-GF's are teachers... I guess that says the dumb one's are nuts for me?

Anonymous ApolloK June 30, 2013 4:24 PM  

Three Rs... I am mildly embarrassed to say I had to google that - Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. Why three Rs? Just call it RAW. or WAR. a real actual acronym is better

Anonymous VD June 30, 2013 4:29 PM  

I guess that says the dumb one's are nuts for me?

They're probably hot for your creative bad boy punctuation. Seriously, though, I'm genuinely curious. Can you explain the reasoning that led you to conclude an apostrophe was necessary there?

Anonymous VD June 30, 2013 4:30 PM  

What's my score?

Six.

Blogger Unknown June 30, 2013 4:35 PM  

VD asks, "Now a question for you. Why are you so sensitive about the readily observable fact that teachers have relatively low IQs on average?"

A bit of a loaded question, that. I'm not sensitive at all about the subject. The public schools are screwed for many reasons, teacher IQ being one of them.

I merely wonder why someone with a stratospheric intelligence wastes his time harping about low IQ teachers.

Anonymous Brain Death June 30, 2013 4:38 PM  

"They're probably hot for your creative bad boy punctuation. Seriously, though, I'm genuinely curious. Can you explain the reasoning that led you to conclude an apostrophe was necessary there?"

Probably because I am on my 5th beer?

Blogger Unknown June 30, 2013 4:38 PM  

Some dude asks, "What's my score?"

Zero, dude, zero. You mistake me for someone else.

Anonymous Concerned Rabbit Hunter June 30, 2013 4:42 PM  

"The Mayans are also credited with having a form of Calculus. How about we say that living a consistent orderly life (even if it involves occasional human sacrifice) is conducive to creating interesting things, as opposed to whether those beliefs are in line with the Will of G-d or not."

I looked it up on the web. This is what I found:

http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/HistTopics/Mayan_mathematics.html

Their number system looks remarkably like Roman Numerals to me.

It says:

"There are, however, very few other mathematical achievements of the Maya."

Doesn't look like any of them understood Calculus.

Anyway, Newton believed in Alchemy or something, so he was way out there.

Anonymous Cranberry June 30, 2013 4:44 PM  

I completed a degree at University in English and History, Biology minor (required at my school to have a minor, and I liked Bio). Thought maybe law school was calling my name...if I knew then...

Well, after 10 years in industry as a PM for a Swiss based company, I burned out and went into teaching. I saw a lot of young people come in without any skills in writing or communicating or capable of doing basic organization and mathematics and thought they just needed good teachers. So I went back to Ed school for my teaching cert.

What a f***ing joke. We spent more time talking about how to be inclusive and caring and inoffensive and understanding that some kids leave the house everyday without food or hugs - situations for which I have sympathy, certainly. But I learned precious little about how to teach, make a lesson plan, or manage a classroom. I was told "well, when you get a mentor you'll pick all of that up." Thanks, why am I paying you then?

I blew Praxis out of the water. Even though I can't get cert'd as a Bio or Math teacher at the secondary level (need 60 credits to teach it), I took those tests anyway. 99th percentile of scores for all: History, English, Writing, Elementary Ed, Bio, Mathematics. My SAT score was 1260 (on the old scale). I thought surely I could make a difference in the classroom.

I wasn't wanted. One of our tasks in Ed school was to present a sample lesson for our peers who acted as "students" in a mock classroom. I chose a passage from Gatsby to read and analyze, handed out some papers asking students to ID language that indicated theme, major points, mood...one of my fellow GRADUATE students told me the lesson was too complex for high school and better suited to a college classroom. Make it easier, she said. Maybe it was my demeanor or the business-like way I presented the lesson. Wasn't friendly or solicitous enough, I suppose.

I recall my first few weeks at my second teaching job. We spent no fewer than three days (out of 10) doing workshops with the special ed department and going over how to accommodate students with special needs and read IEPs and how to communicate with parents. Unbelievably dull and repetitive. And the guilt trip that was implied in every hour of that orientation was terrible.

Now I homeschool our kids. My 4.5 year old is already reading and writing and doing simple math. I don't push it on her, she's curious. May I never kill that curiosity inside her!

Anonymous (Keepin' It) Real Matt June 30, 2013 4:45 PM  

But you are obviously relatively new here, or you'd know that by five my son was writing books....

OOOOOOOOoooh SNAP! AAWWWW YEAAAH DEEEAAAH YOU GO! DEEEEAH YOU GO IT'S OOOWN NOW!

Look adat nigga! looka dat nigga! you whiiilin', b you whiiiil'n

Anonymous VD June 30, 2013 4:49 PM  

I merely wonder why someone with a stratospheric intelligence wastes his time harping about low IQ teachers.

There are 12,407 posts here and at Alpha Game. Four or five even refer to teacher IQ. How can this possibly be considered "harping"?

Also, my intelligence is not stratospheric. I know several people whose IQs are more than a full standard deviation above mine. Some of them are more accomplished than me, others not so much. Intelligence is a useful tool, but that's all it is.

However, I too occasionally wonder why I waste so much of my time on trivial things.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben June 30, 2013 4:50 PM  

Vox, most teachers want the pension, health care and days off. That's it.

Around where I live, the public school kids complain that there's no money for them despite the fact that education spending and the taxes to support that spending increase every single year.

The dirty little secret is that the insane pensions are taking all the money.

Blogger James Dixon June 30, 2013 4:51 PM  

> Publicly airing the evidence of Zimmerman's innocence should reduce the likelihood and severity of riots.

What public airing? As my wife noted yesterday, if you only listen to the MSM, you'd think the prosecution had an open and shut case?

Anonymous realmatt June 30, 2013 4:52 PM  

Are we sharing stories?

I hated school, hated reading, except for "Bobby Baseball" and anything with sex and killing, hated math, hated art class even though I was the best artist, hated people seeing my art, hated people, hated my teachers, hated the world, but somehow got to high school, where I hated more things with an even greater intensity, and slept all day and wasted my life. Now I work with illegal immigrants but I hate Americans so it's not that bad.

Would I do it differently? No because if I had succeeded and went to college, I'd have knocked up so many broads, because I hate condoms.

BTW, find me a math teacher who can explain why you need to change the signs when subtracting polynomials, and I'll eat my boxer shorts

P.S. I go commando ALL the time, you should try it. Though I suspect Vox already does.

P.P.S. Any operating engineers here? How difficult was the math test?

Anonymous realmatt June 30, 2013 4:56 PM  

A lot teachers know the system is garbage. When I was failing miserably as a senior, my guidance counselor said if I passed every class for the entire year, they'd let me graduate. It was nuts to me. I was technically a sophomore, I had such a small amount of credits.

They know it's BS and the few good ones try to help the kids they see are intelligent but have zero interest in being there. This has been my experience, anyway.

Anonymous FP June 30, 2013 5:01 PM  

Ditto here on the Ed majors being looked down upon in my college experience.

Oregon requires ultimately that K-12 teachers have a masters degree to get a license. Keeps out the riff raff retirees who might actually be competent to teach various subjects having spent decades in the real world.

Anonymous ThirdMonkey June 30, 2013 5:23 PM  

My son befriended a kid in the neighborhood his age. When the boy's parents, who are both school administrators, found out we homeschool, suddenly decided he couldn't come out and play anymore. I had to tell my 7 year old why. He just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Meh, they're kinds stupid, anyways." I corrected him and told him that MPAI, which is now part of his regular lexicon

Anonymous ThirdMonkey June 30, 2013 5:25 PM  

Kinds should be kinda. Education major invented autocorrect, I'll bet.

Anonymous jack June 30, 2013 5:47 PM  

@Vox: Also, my intelligence is not stratospheric.

I already know the answer to this question/request but why not ask again; you might relent today.

What, Vox, is your tested IQ?

The Ilk and many others have thirsted for this info for years!

Blogger Gilbert Ratchet June 30, 2013 5:50 PM  

Surely you DON'T want high-IQ people as grade school teachers, people who are rather ill-equipped to deal with cretinous children all day long? Surely the best teachers need other qualities like patience or leadership before 2-sigma intelligence?

Of course, whether such people need university degrees to take up their profession is another question entirely...

Anonymous VD June 30, 2013 5:51 PM  

What, Vox, is your tested IQ?

I generally don't answer personal questions. But given the publicly available information, suffice it to say that it exceeds the Mensa requirement by a respectable margin.

Blogger Ospurt June 30, 2013 5:53 PM  

Several years ago I went to a Workshop on alternative teacher certification. My ex was looking into it and I tagged along. When it came time to answer questions I decided to see how hard it would be for me, a licensed professional engineer, to teach math or science to high schoolers.

I rattled off my courses and they said I didn't have enough math and science. I said I had tons of applied mechanics, mechanics of materials, matrix analysis and fluid dynamics.

The certification specialist said, that may be so, but we can't correlate courses like that with ones that have MATH BIOL CHEM or PHYS in the title. Those ENGR CIVL MEEN AERO classes you took don't count as math and science.

I was floored. Here I have demonstrated mastery of these subjects to a degree that the state lets me certify the bridges you drive on and the water you drink...but I need more MATH courses to teach algebra and trig?

What little respect I had for teachers was gone at that point.

Anonymous DonReynolds June 30, 2013 5:54 PM  

I have taught at eleven colleges and universities. The same was true at all of them. The School of Education passed out the A grades like they were sugar-free candy, but this is only a small part of the story. The rest of the story you see when Education majors attempt classes OUTSIDE the School of Education (and the Department of Health, PE and Recreation). That is why they so seldom take regular coursework. When they do take a math class, it is a math class for teachers. Computer science? Sure, we got one for teachers with no pre-requisites. So yeah, they are provided with "stepping stones" outside the School of Education so they can pass the coursework.

Anonymous 144 June 30, 2013 6:02 PM  

I never understood why you could pass a class with a D (60%).

Anonymous Carp Czar June 30, 2013 6:07 PM  

I thought I was quite average, muddled through high school without trying and was driving a fork lift for a living when I realized MPAI. I was pre-med in 1994 when I told my now wife, that I had figured out who all the C and lower students were in my classes, education majors. At least they tried some difficult courses, I guess. (Yes, I am an MD now.)

For those who asked, part of the reason Vox does this is to wake people up, you do not want your kids in public school, for a multitude of reasons. I will echo a comment above that part of the reason I have read this blog daily since before it was "orange" (it had a different color and format) is because here, there really are intelligent, thoughtful people. People with open minds, willing to have their minds changed, or helping change the minds of others. Some of the idiots above, who think a few second-rate insults make an effect, just keep on telling yourself that. The ilk are much more fire-proof than you will ever understand.

I hope Vox never quits questioning seeming small details. Reasoning never gets old.

CC

Blogger Unknown June 30, 2013 6:22 PM  

Ospurt June 30, 2013 5:53 PM, says, "I was floored. Here I have demonstrated mastery of these subjects to a degree that the state lets me certify the bridges you drive on and the water you drink...but I need more MATH courses to teach algebra and trig?

What little respect I had for teachers was gone at that point.

Your disrespect might be misdirected: the problem in your case was the certification system, not the teachers.

Anonymous Cederq June 30, 2013 6:25 PM  

Unknown, who do you think set up and run the cert system?

Blogger stareatgoatsies June 30, 2013 6:25 PM  

The obvious solution for low-IQ and/or mal-educated teachers is to give them a script. It's an evidentially proven approach. Check out 'Direct Instruction' if you've not heard of it. I suspect its originator, Zig Engelmann's, writings would be agreeable to the Ilk's intellectual palette. One example

Anonymous Teenage Jail June 30, 2013 6:42 PM  

Wow, kilo papa really kept at it with the lame insults. Usually even the trolls here at least try to make an argument.

Didn't learn to read from a teacher here, either.

Blogger Rantor June 30, 2013 6:50 PM  

@stareatgoatsies, that math curriculum critique reminds me of an argument with my daughters fifth grade math teacher. She and another teacher were discussing how they teach "mathematical communication" which according to the written curriculum is communicating mathematical concepts through graphic presentation and the samples showed pie charts breaking out percentages, graphs with poll results and the like.

The teachers were convinced that mathematical communication was having the children able to tell others how important math is to our everyday lives. They were also going to discuss careers that use lots of math, because the students weren't doing well in mathematical communication.

Unfortunately the competency test for this subject area required the students to read pie charts and graphs. Due to the teachers inability to understand the subject area, the students continually failed to perform well on this portion of the standardized test.

Anonymous Dc June 30, 2013 6:56 PM  

"Now a question for you. Why are you so sensitive about the readily observable fact that teachers have relatively low IQs on average?"

Ha!

Anonymous jack June 30, 2013 7:02 PM  

VD June 30, 2013 5:51 PM

What, Vox, is your tested IQ?

I generally don't answer personal questions. But given the publicly available information, suffice it to say that it exceeds the Mensa requirement by a respectable margin.


Probably the best I could hope for answer wise. I don't blame you at all for reticence re personal information. You start down that slope and slippery it could become.

My guess, then, is at least 150 perhaps as high as 170.

Rupert Sheldrake, within the scope of his Morphic Resonance theories, feels that higher IQ test scores, among many other things, have, over time, become easier to achieve. This because the species has been immersed in a kind of 'habit' or, rather, IQ testing, again among many other things, has become easier to do as people take more and more of these tests. The basic idea is that anyone anywhere doing something can make it easier for anyone else on the planet, maybe in the universe, to do that thing. He states that this is a testable hypothesis and offers intriguing confirmations in his books and papers. I don't think he feels that overall human IQ, on average, is any higher than in past ages. His theories are really fascinating and there is plenty of hard evidence, testable evidence, that he is right.
Not to knock down anyone's IQ scores just a reality check of sorts.

Blogger A June 30, 2013 7:04 PM  

I did the education major because of the summer vacation and being able to read and learn about my favorite subject as a job. It's true that every education class is bullshit, every single wannabe teacher would do better just to learn their subject area instead of learn what a task analysis is and everything Cranberry stated. And, the certification exams in New York are a complete joke, I don't understand how anyone could possibly fail them. Lastly, the hardest part of the education major is your student teaching semester, where you are thrown into a classroom to teach for free for a few months and learn how substitute teachers feel everyday. Keeping black and hispanic kids in line is the basic job description, actual learning almost never takes place unless it is cramming for a test. Most of the teachers I saw just liked to hear themselves talk with the occasional joke.

Anonymous NateM June 30, 2013 7:20 PM  

"Fun math story from the '80s...
At Louisiana Tech, 4 miles from Grambling State Univ., we non-engineering majors would occasionally take a class at GSU if we wanted to avoid a certain prof or just get an easy A.
My friend Lisa, a forestry major, needed Trig, so she called the math dept @ Grambling and asked when the Trig classes were scheduled for the next semester...silence on the line...
"Uhhhh...we don't teach dat straight Trig no mo'...uh, we incorporates it in our other mafs."

Pretty amazing.. I just checked the catalog for the local State Community College and even They have a Trig Class.

Anonymous E. PERLINE June 30, 2013 7:38 PM  

I believe the basics of education should be layed out in videos that can be viewed anywhere.

Of course the subject should be a model of clarity. If you've ever tried to decipher instructions that come with a device you know this skill is not prevalent. I started to analyze what it requires, and found that except for documentaries, it's entirely a new art.

Some of you young guns may be able to do it, and if so, you will free hundreds of thousands of teachers who will go on to other jobs.

Here is how to test your ability to communicate with the masses. Write about something in a sentence or two. Have 2 shots of an adult beverage. Come back to your writing and see if you can understand it immediately. If you can, you're on your way.

Blogger tz June 30, 2013 7:39 PM  

As to bad boy punctuation, maybe his ex-GFs were possessive.

I gave up on college when in a mechanical engineering class at a local private college where the "professor" (an engineer from GM) could not understand what was wrong with a zero divided by zero term.

I would not have then described it as the fallen nature and world, nor did I think of the analogy that the asylum is nearly everything outside the threshold of my door. But that was a major awakening-numbing "we're doomed" moment for me.

I quit wasting my money on this non-education (there were some worthwhile courses, but this was before the internet).

Anonymous Gx1080 June 30, 2013 7:45 PM  

OT:

http://www.thelocal.se/48768/20130629/

Topless Femen activists target Swedish mosque.

Let's see how they do against The Religion of Peace (tm).

Anonymous p-dawg June 30, 2013 8:08 PM  

""Moreover, Newton was a Christian"

As was his more congenial and talented contemporary, Leibniz."

Oh, my God...Nerd fights never end, do they?

In kindergarten, when my peers were learning what an O with a little house drawn over it sounds like, I was completing the SRA kits. I completed the high-school-level kits by the end of 3rd grade. Who taught me to read? My grandfather, by reading the paper with me every day, and reading books with me at night.

Public school in America is the biggest joke in history. Everyone who's been through it knows that, and yet most people tend to clap their hands over their ears and shout, "LALALALALALALA," rather than admitting it. You can't bullshit me about public school, because I survived it.

Anonymous Cail Corishev June 30, 2013 8:08 PM  

Vox, do they really not understand that we're not taught to read in school?

No, they really don't. I suppose that, since most concepts they encountered in school really were new to them at that point, they assume that school was a necessary part of the equation. If not for Mrs. Schwartz in third grade, they still wouldn't know what 5 times 6 is. They don't really how much they learned outside school, because the "important" stuff seemed to be learned there.

And it continues into adulthood: if they feel the urge to learn some skill or field of knowledge, their first impulse is to see if there's some sort of college course or extension class for it. Rarely will they just grab a book or start researching online with the assumption that they can teach themselves. Besides, if you teach yourself, who will give you the piece of paper to prove that you know it?

Anonymous Tom B June 30, 2013 8:12 PM  

A wrote:

It's true that every education class is bullshit, every single wannabe teacher would do better just to learn their subject area instead of learn what a task analysis is and everything Cranberry stated.

Except that you cannot get a job with a school district unless you were an education major. I have applied to five different school districts and been turned down each time for the STATED reason that I do not have an education degree.

I am qualified to teach on the college level with the degree I have, but I cannot teach in a high school because I have the wrong degree.

Anonymous catahoula June 30, 2013 8:15 PM  

We were in the vegetable department at a local grocery store. My husband and the barely 2 year old boy were walking along identifying fruits and vegetables. A woman stopped to talk to them, and she was quite disturbed that the child knew many of them, and the husband was identifying the ones he didn't know. Why was she mad? Her answer

"I'm a kindergarten teacher, and that is MY job."

Blogger stareatgoatsies June 30, 2013 8:25 PM  

If you liked the last one you'll probably also enjoy this fictional Socratic dialogue with an executive of an organization that accredits teacher-training institutions.

Those are interesting words, but if graduates of institutions you have
accredited are not proficient at teaching at-risk students effectively, there seems
to be a serious contradiction somewhere. Specifically, the first-year teacher in an
at-risk school typically lacks management skills, and management is one of the
recurring in-service agenda items in school districts. How do you explain the fact
that most graduates lack management skills?

Anonymous ThirdMonkey June 30, 2013 8:43 PM  

What baffles the mind is when we meet schoolteachers who tell us they could never homeschool their own children. Because investing in two, three, or four children whom you allegedly love is hard, but a room with 30 vibrants is easy. Why do they hate their own children? These half-wits will lament how they will miss their students over a break, yet have no regrets about leaving their own children in day care so that they can spend evenings at school preparing activities for kids who couldn't care less. I guess the nice new SUV every two years makes up for it.

Anonymous Phil Mann June 30, 2013 8:52 PM  

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. Why three Rs? Just call it RAW. or WAR. a real actual acronym is better.

That was before your time. Believe it or not, this country once had a sense of humor.

Anonymous Cail Corishev June 30, 2013 9:15 PM  

I briefly attended a university where the main focus was engineering. It was well-known that the boys who couldn't hack the engineering courses -- especially the math -- would transfer to marketing or management and cruise to a degree there, while girls in that position did the same in education.

Anonymous Carlotta June 30, 2013 9:50 PM  

Unknown/kp your evasive tactics are not allowed. You made the statement now define and back it up.

And sweetheart I dont work for companies I own them.

Anonymous zen0 June 30, 2013 10:09 PM  

VD is puzzled:

However, I too occasionally wonder why I waste so much of my time on trivial things.

Because you can.

Anonymous zen0 June 30, 2013 10:14 PM  

E.PERLINE expounds:

Here is how to test your ability to communicate with the masses. Write about something in a sentence or two. Have 2 shots of an adult beverage. Come back to your writing and see if you can understand it immediately. If you can, you're on your way.

I think I am there E. A role n government, perhaps?

Blogger Desert Cat June 30, 2013 10:17 PM  

jack June 30, 2013 5:47 PM
@Vox: Also, my intelligence is not stratospheric.
I already know the answer to this question/request but why not ask again; you might relent today.
What, Vox, is your tested IQ?
The Ilk and many others have thirsted for this info for years!


IIRC (and I'm not sure I do), it is just shy of Triple Nine Society territory.

Blogger A June 30, 2013 10:27 PM  

@ Tom B

Yes, but, an education degree won't qualify you for any other job, so there's that.

Anonymous zen0 June 30, 2013 11:04 PM  

Azimus expounds:

I took Calc 3 from a 2yr school from a dowdy 120(ish) IQ granny type who made $22k/yr teaching part time but loved math and had a knack for explaining things in different ways until you got it - and took the tome to do it.

Snowflake. I had a couple of good teachers also. A couple = 2. Outta what?........a hundred?
OK. maybe 4. That's the max.

Anonymous daddynichol June 30, 2013 11:37 PM  

Good teachers are the rare exception, not the rule.

My daughter in law teaches 3rd grade, has her Masters in Education, but you couldn't tell it by listening to her talk. Every 5th word is "like". She's 40 years old and sounds like a 7th grade ditzy chick. Thinking she would make more money with a masters degree, they (my son and her) took on a huge amount of student debt. No one will hire her since the market is flooded with out of work teachers already, so why pay a ME holder? I warned them of that probability when they were discussing it but they went ahead and did it anyway.

Anonymous Sensei June 30, 2013 11:44 PM  

took Calculus 2 from a Chinese guy who probably had an IQ of 180 and cracked Soviet cyphers but... I took Calc 3 from a 2yr school from a dowdy 120(ish) IQ granny type who made $22k/yr teaching part time but...

Interestingly that was similar to my experience as well, except swap Cal 2 and 3, and the better teacher was young and not cynical yet. Basically some people have a gift at teaching/explaining things and some don't. Those who don't should probably not be teachers, unless they have enough real life work experience in their field to provide a lot of practical teaching regardless of whether they've got the gift or not.

Didn't learn to read in school either, that happened around 3 years old. Then a few years later my family started homeschooling after a teacher told my parents not to worry that I was bored, I'd dumb down to the other kids' level in a few years.

(I am most grateful to them, homeschooling was just beginning to get more widespread at the time, and they caught a lot of flack for it.)

Anonymous Blueberry June 30, 2013 11:54 PM  

Teacher IQ = 95? According to another calculation...no.

http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2009/08/additional-information-on-iq-of.html

Anonymous Jack Amok July 01, 2013 12:33 AM  

My sister-in-law is a teacher. She's a very nice, kind, sweet person, but dumb as a stump. She seems to be one of the exceptions among her colleagues though. Most of them are mean, nasty, vindictive, and dumb as a stump.

Given the evidence from the Zimmerman trial, those studying Criminal Justice must have lower IQs.

I was in a jury a while back. The prosecutor was dumber than a stump. I got the impression she was following a checklist of things to do, with no real concept of what it was all about. She didn't seem to understand the law she was accusing the defendant of breaking, didn't seem to understand the one key question quilt or innocence turned on, she just ran through the motions and wasted everyone's time.



Blogger IM2L844 July 01, 2013 12:44 AM  

Azimus, I think the main idea is that teachers and the teaching profession in general doesn't deserve to be put on the pedestal that it invariably is by the collective left. The average to below average IQ of many teachers is just more evidence that this is in fact the case.

Anonymous dh July 01, 2013 1:52 AM  

Azimus, I think the main idea is that teachers and the teaching profession in general doesn't deserve to be put on the pedestal that it invariably is by the collective left. The average to below average IQ of many teachers is just more evidence that this is in fact the case.

I dont think really anyone has or is suggesting that teachers are amazingly smart or intelligent.

But until something else comes along, it is a position of substantial trust and responsibility, and it probably is a good idea to treat teachers better than say, and Apple store employee or some other person of similar utilitarian only value.

Anonymous Idle Spectator July 01, 2013 2:20 AM  

School was interesting for me. I knew more than my preschool teacher.




While still in preschool.

Anonymous Dc July 01, 2013 2:21 AM  

"Teachers and the teaching profession in general doesn't deserve to be put on the pedestal that it invariably is by the collective left."

It seems both ironic and contradictory that the left would put teachers on a pedestal when they are some of the first persons to be rounded up and murdered under leftist regimes. Oh well its the left we are talking about here common sense doesn't apply..

Anonymous p-dawg July 01, 2013 2:30 AM  

@dh "But until something else comes along, it is a position of substantial trust and responsibility, and it probably is a good idea to treat teachers better than say, and Apple store employee or some other person of similar utilitarian only value."

Why? They are actively harming the children in their care. Why would we ever treat them better? When has that led to results in the past? Teachers are treated better now than ever...and many high school graduates can't even read their diplomas. Teachers deserve collective scorn and derision for being lazy, stupid, and terrible at their jobs. There may be exceptions, but they are just that, exceptions, and we shouldn't act as though they are the rule.

Anonymous Idle Spectator July 01, 2013 2:42 AM  

However, I too occasionally wonder why I waste so much of my time on trivial things.

For the lulz; like playing Mario Bros. or doing Sudoku.

Or reading my postings full of verve, wit, and sexual chocolate.

Anonymous Beau July 01, 2013 2:56 AM  

There is nothing like personal involvement with your kids. I could have paid $500 to send my son to "leadership camp" for a week. Instead, we camped our way out to the coast hitting aerospace-related sights along the way:

The NM Space Museum and International Space Hall of Fame - Alamogordo
White Sands Missile Range Museum
The Space Murals Museum (silly but fun)
Spaceport America, T or C, NM
The Very Large Array, Socorro, NM
Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson, AZ
AMARG (aka the Boneyard) @ Davis-Monthan AFB
The Titan Missile Museum, Sahuarita, AZ
JPL, Pasadena

Time constrained us, but we managed to visit the Grand Canyon and the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History on the way home. It took a week and cost about the same. Rather than camp, we enjoyed an excellent road trip. Sometimes you make your opportunities.

Anonymous Freddy July 01, 2013 3:05 AM  

Given Vox's data/ information acumen...the Ilk wants to know the following: Atheistic, international 20th C governmental leaders, the body-count leaders, what were their average IQ's?

More points equalls more body bags...just thinking

Blogger cmate July 01, 2013 3:21 AM  

"What's the average I.Q. of the conservatives on this site, you ask?

Evidence shows it to be somewhere between Kirk Cameron's and Tim Tebow's------43.5 to 43.7."

You know Kilo, getting your inner child to talk is easy. Getting him to shut the fuck up takes talent.

Blogger tz July 01, 2013 7:20 AM  

There is a second aspect. There are things like biology and chemistry where you are mostly organizing and memorizing. Then there are courses where you have to think and solve problems. Or used to be. Calculators can only help with the answer if the person can formulate the question.

When a child learns to read and look up and find answers, it tends to be a positive feedback loop. "How do I find out how to find out the answer?" With that foundation they can reach for the stars.

Blogger Justthisguy July 01, 2013 9:28 AM  

I remember being shocked that my second-grade teacher, a young bimbo, did not know the difference between the words "contract" and "retract." She was a real let-down from my first-grade teacher, a tough old 19th-century gal who was all "phonics" and "sound it out." She didn't put up with whining, either, though we were six years old. I remember her praising one of the girls who got injured and didn't cry or complain about it.

Yah, I skipped a grade, too. I went from the first half of third grade to the second half of fourth grade. My Mom easily caught me up over the Christmas vacation. Fourth grade was still skating, mostly. Mrs. Cooper didn't care that I was reading SF instead of paying attention in class, as long as I got A grades in everything. It didn't hurt that I sang next to her in the choir every Sunday. (I was a soprano back then.)

All of this hurt me later. School was so easy that I never really learned how to study. This bit me on the ass when I went to college and was required to learn hard stuff, the kind of stuff that even smart people have to study to understand it.

Anonymous Azimus July 01, 2013 9:37 AM  

zen0 June 30, 2013 11:04 PM Azimus expounds:
I took Calc 3 from a 2yr school from a dowdy 120(ish) IQ granny type who made $22k/yr teaching part time but loved math and had a knack for explaining things in different ways until you got it - and took the tome to do it.

Snowflake. I had a couple of good teachers also. A couple = 2. Outta what?........a hundred?
OK. maybe 4. That's the max.


It appears that my carefully crafted, intelligent and persuasive response to this disappeared into the ether of cyber-space. Too bad. The gist of my reply is, that I am simply trying to decouple the concept of high IQ as a requirement to be a good teacher, or a good anything for jobs that have similar cognitive requirements as a teacher.

Anonymous jasmer July 01, 2013 9:48 AM  

I'm not fond of some of VD's discussions about teh raciss, but any bets as to what Rachel Jeantel will study if her Criminal Justice degree doesn't pan out?

I support two "private" elementary schools' IT. The teachers are largely more accredited, or at least equally accredited, as I am. They definitely earn more than I do.

One of my favorites from the past, aside from not being able to recognize the power button or calling a monitor the computer: "are these computers numbered chronologically?"

Anonymous Azimus July 01, 2013 9:58 AM  

IM2L844 July 01, 2013 12:44 AM Azimus, I think the main idea is that teachers and the teaching profession in general doesn't deserve to be put on the pedestal that it invariably is by the collective left. The average to below average IQ of many teachers is just more evidence that this is in fact the case.

IM2L844 -

I couldn't agree more that teaching should not be put on a pedestal. Its a job that requires skills to be sure, but those skills are found in abundance throughout the human population. It requires less intelligence, and really it REQUIRES less hard work, than a factory job, and yet in my area they are paid between 2-3 times what a factory worker makes. And they get the time off, health insurance, and pension.

Anonymous Hank July 01, 2013 9:58 AM  

I can't remember where I learned to read, must have been my mother as I remember her working with me prior to first grade (no kindergarten). I do remember phonics in first grade.

Moved into town and remember being bored stiff with "See Dick run. Run Dick, run." Fortunately my teacher sent me up to the 3rd grade library, and then 4th grade library, so I could read while everyone else was was getting the idiot making look-say method.

I remember the teacher asking in 4th grade who had learned to ready with phonics. We didn't know the word, so she wrote some words on the blackboard and asked who could sound them out. I raised my hand with a few others. She said that we had learned phonics, and then we were put in the advanced class.

When I was tested in 4th grade I could read 400 words per minute with comprehension and at a 10th-11th grade level.

I've also used phonics to begin teaching my kids to read at age 4-5 and they read well also. Phonics is the only way to go.

I suspect most liberals can't read or comprehend well because of their stupid world view.

Anonymous Daniel July 01, 2013 11:07 AM  

I'm not fond of some of VD's discussions about teh raciss, but any bets as to what Rachel Jeantel will study if her Criminal Justice degree doesn't pan out?

She'll be 20 and in the 12th grade. College may have almost no standards anymore, but she's not going. The notion that she was in college came from her facebook thing, not reality.

Anonymous scoobius dubious July 01, 2013 11:31 AM  

Remember when there was such a thing as "popular" poetry, sort of ballad-like stuff like "Bishop Hatto" and "The Highwayman" and "Sir Patrick Spens", instead of just overly-exquisite hermetic navel-gazing poetry? (To be sure, I do like some of the overly-exquisite hermetic stuff, but dammit, there used to be POPULAR poetry!) My parents taught me and all my siblings to read, usually around age 4 or 5, using a big old anthology of that sort of stuff. They also used a big, old, oversized, quaintly illustrated, large-print hardcover volume containing "The Invisible Man" and "The Time Machine." THAT'S how you get a 4-year-old boy interested -- THE INVISIBLE MAN!!!

Dr. Seuss and other children's books we got as a sort of snack on the side, the way you'd let your kids eat at McDonald's once a week as a treat. I wonder if my dad was worried about me, because my favorite out of that lot was "Madeline". Heh heh heh...

Blogger JDC July 01, 2013 11:48 AM  

What finally opened my eyes to the problems with public schooling was my dear departed mother. She was a kindergarten teacher in downtown Saginaw, MI for 30+ years. Our relationship was fantastic (she taught me to read when i was 4)- but we never saw eye to eye politically. Although a conservative Christian, she always voted Democratic because - in her words - Democrats are friends to unions and teachers while Republicans hate children.

It was in her last years battling cancer that the public school veneer began to fade. Towards the end of her career she had 40 kids in her all day kindergarten class with one aide (who couldn't be bothered to show up half the time). I expected histrionics from my mother when I notified her we were homeschooling our then 4 y/o., but I was surprised when she smiled...and stated that had she done it again she would have done the same (had she not chosen an alcoholic, coke addicted guy to be my father that is). That meant more to me than any study or book I could have read.

Anyone who has been to college or University knows that the education department attracts the dregs. Maybe it wasn't always that way...but now we are leaving it up to the dregs to teach our children how to read, how to spell, how to reason, how to think about God (or the lack therof), how to identify vegetables, and why it is OK for Johnny to stick his penis into Philip. No wonder so many people today can typing.

Anonymous scoobius dubious July 01, 2013 12:01 PM  

When I was kindergarten age, my best friend was a kid on my block who came from a large, very musical family. We both went off to kindergarten together, and after about two weeks we decided it was the stupidest, most boring thing in the world. I said to him, "Let's tell our moms we hate this and we don't want to come back." They said OK. So the two of us spent the year exploring the neighborhood, watching cartoons, making giant Play-Dough and Mister Potato-head sculptures (back when you used a real potato), banging like idiots on his family's large collection of musical instruments, and making collage drawings out of magazines and the Sunday funnies using tracing paper. (Dick Tracy versus Dondi!) It was a blast. The next year, when we showed up in first grade, we were both academically at the top of the class, and also the most popular kids in class. That was a combination I was never to see again in grade school, though...

Anonymous CLK July 01, 2013 12:11 PM  

"This also serves as a fitting response to those who ask how a mother can homeschool without a degree in physics, math, or womyn's studies."

Fist I think you lump a whole range of teachers into one group -- early education, special ed, gym, art -- sure I can buy that they are no more intelligent that the general population.. but the HS science and math teachers are certainly more qualified than the average stay at home mom to teach their subjects.. granted I live in New England where PS are really good but we have multiple phd teachers in science (physics, biology, chemistry and math) teaching and we have many kids getting 4-5s in AP Physics, Calculus etc every year. Getting a teaching certificate in one of the sciences at a high school level is not the same as ECed or Sed.

How would a mom who never studied calculus teach their kid calculus ? how would a non chemist mom teach chemistry ? please ...

Anonymous RMM2 July 01, 2013 12:35 PM  

I have only the utmost respect for teachers, even some of the bad ones. Let's face it, how many of you ever would set foot in a classroom?

I think the story here is less regarding the substandard nature of teachers (by the way, I am NOT a teacher, but I have taught a few classes here at my corporation and I intend to teach when I near retirement), but the substandard nature of the university in question. Rather than building a strong education department, he cut off the department from the rest of the university. My first goal would have been to make the requirements of the department of education much stronger and stricter.

Teachers fail when they fail to recognize that learning is 80% questioning what you hear and 20% being able to realize what's being taught is useful. Because not everything I've ever been taught is useful. Howard Zinn? Useful reading, from some viewpoints, but not at all applicable in real life. Try to question his writing, and you'd get a shout down from the professor and a few students. Stop asking questions! (about the wrong thing)

I remind people constantly that without skeptics, science is nearly impossible. If you're not asking the question that is difficult to ask, then you're probably chasing down something that is already known or realized, or at the very least you've cowed yourself into complacency.

In today's society, the difficult question is "why are my kids not learning math (or science)?" Well, because the teachers aren't as motivated or caring as they once were. I was not very good at English or grammar until after I got out of college and started to focus on the skillsets that I'd taken for granted. I was much more comfortable with math and science.

Today, the best science teacher my kids have are the guy who runs crazy experiments and taught the kids that baking (and brewing) are chemical reactions. God bless him. My boys came home and learned how to cook (and we all started homebrewing, which was great fun and good drinking).

I can respect most teachers because they put up with idiot kids all day long. Kids whose parents couldn't care less about them, or coddle them. You know the type, the kids who are brats. I've had more than my share of run ins with young high school folk who have no respect for adults. I don't blame the kids, I blame the parents. And this is what teachers have to deal with. No wonder they want to pass them through and get rid of them.

It's not an excuse. But it's understandable.

At the core, however, is the entire public school disaster. Raising kids to bow before the government, ask as few questions as possible, and move on. Force them into extracurriculars that are worthless, rather than inspiring them to volunteer. When I was younger I hated getting up early on Earth Day to plant trees, but I did it because I had fun once I started. I got to play in the park, and today those trees are 'mine'. Plus I got to use it on my college application.

What use is it when kids are forced to do this today? Very little. They do a half-assed job, they lounge around, and then they still put it on their college application. But the school makes them do this stuff.....

Anonymous jasmer July 01, 2013 12:54 PM  

"How would a mom who never studied calculus teach their kid calculus ? how would a non chemist mom teach chemistry ? please ..." - CLK

Thing is, the reality of distance learning is already upon the "educational" establishment, and they're fighting it as vehemently as they can. There's no need for some dumb cluck* other than to be the children's warden. Why NOT have Mom do it instead?

* dumb clucks - I raise chickens, and the similarities between that kind of poultry and the "professionals" I regularly deal with are marked...

Anonymous Anonymous July 01, 2013 2:14 PM  

RMM2 -

You strike me as a readonably intelligent person. Re-read what you wrote - you are fairly contorting yourself out of shape to give a pass to the noble stalwart teacher while simultaneously condemning the system they erected. I think you are not far from the truth, you just have to connect the dots. Saying things like "the kids are idiots" for example. At what point did they become idiots? Is that not the fault of a prior teacher not doing their job? You say you understand why they pass losers through the system - really? Why? Teachers are the professionals who are PAID to teach them. Im the public system, if they don't teach these kids, who will? No one... They will become throw-away human refuse, wasted lives. These teachers are playing with people's lives because they don't feel like teaching them because its hard, or not fun. WTF? Just pass 'em through... to what purpose? To make a shiny new generation of welfare recipients? A modern society can absorb a certain % of cognitively illiterate people (janitors, strawberry pickers and the like), but many of these schools are pumping out 50%+ graduate classes that can't even read! States on average spend $130,000 per student for this? At what point is a teacher culpable in your mind? You should be furious, not forgiving. I think you'll get there, but the first step to finding a solution is acknowledging we have a problem.

Azimus

Anonymous Revan July 01, 2013 3:19 PM  

I'm a high school history teacher and I completely agree with the OP and commentary that has followed. I was fortunate enough to live in a state where all you need as a degree in a core subject area in order to become a teacher. All you have to do is pass a few tests and you get to skip the useless education classes, which probably has made me a better teacher than those who actually took education classes.

I understand that the OP was about how teachers are failures, but I would like to see some discussion about how parents, students, and society also contribute to the demise of education in America. I have a few points to make:

1. When you analyze test scores and break it down by race then you will see that white Americans compare very well with European students. It shouldn't surprise anyone that ghetto Africans/Hispanics have no interest in being educated and their academic records prove my point. The problem with low scores is largely a racial issue, and it will interesting to see if increased diversity in Europe will lower their scores as well. Academic and behavioral standards have been adjusted to accommodate the barbarians.

Ideally schools should set high standards of academic and behavioral conduct and students who don't meet those standards should be removed from school, but laws heavily favor the parents/students and make it virtually impossible to remove the barbarians from the classroom.

2. Teachers have no control over who moves on to the next grade and who doesn't and can even be fired if too many students fail their class. Even if you are a teacher who would like to have high standards in class and would like students to be challenged have no incentive to do so. When administrators are threatening your job and parents blast administrators with phone calls demanding that their "A" student who received a C in the course be granted an A regardless then what is the easier path? It is much easier to encourage mediocrity than it is to encourage excellence.

Parents, administrators, and government actively encourage mediocrity and attack excellence with everything at their disposal.

3. The vast majority of students just flat out don't have any interested in becoming educated. Due to technological overload and bad parenting today's kids have shorter time preferences than any other generation in world history. They are so use to being entertained and instantly rewarded for minimal accomplishments that they simply will not stay engaged. When you have an entire generation of kids who have such short time preferences it does no good to explain how being educated is beneficial for them. Society has had things so easy for so long that kids don't feel like they have to work in order to maintain an advanced technological society.

In short, you can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

Anonymous RedJack July 01, 2013 3:38 PM  

Unlike some of the Ilk, I didn't learn to read well till grade school. Note I said "Well". We had to know all our letters, colors, simple addition/subtraction and some words before Kindergarten. I remember a winter of flash cards and "Dick and Jane" books.

But by First grade, I had an Seventh grade reading level. See I had found my Father's old stash of Hardy Boy books and wanted to read them ALL! To do that I had to start reading beyond what my teacher could teach me. By fourth grade, I was so board in school that I read history books and plotted out WWII military maps.

My Bride is a math teacher at a rough High School. She feels she has a calling to a teaching vocation, but she agrees most teachers are not that bright.

Anonymous Carlotta July 01, 2013 3:44 PM  

@CLK are your seriously saying that a functional adult could not possibly learn subjects being taught to school children and then turn around and teach them?

Do you have a brain in your head? I stand here watching two neighbors, over 40, who just taught themselves to weld and are bulding amazing, personalized ATVs for fun. Oh no! Better tell them it was impossible for one learn to weld and then teach the other.

Listen to yourself and face the brain washing. Without fail every single parent who hears I homeschool says "I could never do that!"
Same exact words everytime. I wonder how that happens?

Anonymous Carlotta July 01, 2013 3:47 PM  

@ Redjack the point being made is that no one was getting introduced to reading by a teacher. Not the level of competency.

Anonymous Perfesser Plum July 01, 2013 4:09 PM  

The problem with teacher training in ed schools is not the native intelligence of ed students. They are bright enough to learn the dozen or so skills needed to deliver clear instruction.

It is the lame, "progressive" bs they are taught. They are taught idiotic 'pedagogies' such as whole langugage, fuzzy math, and pc social studies.

Most students know that the ed curriculum is fluff, and know that they will not be prepared, but they don't have what it takes to organize, protest, and demand serious instruction on exactly how to teach. Even if ed schools were 'reformed' it would do no good; they would still be taught by the same perfessers.

Ed schools and all other credentialing orgs must be required to operate on the basis of a set of very serious objectives, such as "The students writes procedures for teaching all 5 main reading skills" and "The student writes procedures for teaching facts, concepts, rulses, and routines," for starters.

The solution is to have charter ed schools, and to support online programs.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza July 01, 2013 4:41 PM  

The NEA and (hero) teacher worship is absurd as well.

Blogger jessix July 01, 2013 4:44 PM  

One only needs to attend classes to get a college degree in Education. There's no way to pass a Math, Physics or other science course without knowing the content and proving this by passing written exams.

There are no minimum intelligence or achievement requirements for homeschooling, but I hear there are some exams one must pass. At least parents wishing to home school their children have motives other than a career where they are safe from having to make adult decisions.

In college one sees many types of students, but there is a noticeable group of obvious "intelligence compromised" individuals. These are ALWAYS the Education majors, the students who are afraid to grow up and leave school. Who wants to spend their working life in a school, surrounded by young children who are unable to hold an intelligent conversation, who don't have mature emotions and who respond as trained animals to the school bell to start and end segments of their day? Education majors!

I have yet to see a dumb Science major, but I've rarely seen a smart Education major. If a person has a calling to "teach", and has the aptitude to match, that individual will major in a legitimate academic subject. Upon fulfilling the major requirements, such a person can pick up the education credits required for a teaching license. Such persons are rare today. Instead we have the equivalence of day care workers with college degrees - in education.

I used to look down at home schooling. Now I see this in a new light as there are many legitimate reasons to school one's children at home. Reason #1 is safety. Children are no longer safe once they leave the home. They can be abused and/or bullied by their teachers or by other students. By attending school, children are exposed to the world outside their family. One must learn to adjust, to "work and play well with others" when thrown into classes with 30-50 strangers. This prepares a child for future work situations, assuming the child is not horribly damaged, physically or emotionally by the school experience. The only way to assure the safety of one's child today is to either home school the child or send him/her to an expensive private school.

Today's teachers are yesterday's Education majors. Most stink! What does a parent do? Pay $15-$40K/year to educate one's child? Or, spend one's time learning to teach so one can teach one's own child safely and competently? By the time parents see their children through basic education, pay through college, and teach the children what was not learned in school, the parents are ready to retire.

It's little wonder so many otherwise "normal" people act so strangely these days.

Anonymous Anonymous July 01, 2013 6:31 PM  

"Out of curiosity, what were the IQs of the people who taught Vox and his commenters to read, write, and cipher? Were they morons?"

Absolutely and utterly. Every single one.

Those who were always challenged by the education system have no idea just how soul-destroying an experience it was for the truly intelligent. I realised - in the first grade - that we'd only move at the speed of the dumbest children in the class, and that material i'd instantly master was understood to take an average child x days to master, and that I was doomed to boredom until the others caught up.

Teachers value routine and obedience, and sticking to the process of how they were taught children were supposed to learn. I'd routinely challenge their ideas - and they were absolutely rudderless. Given that I was a logical child, successfully arguing a point with a teacher which they couldn't challenge would produce a petty, emotional response. They'd abuse their power and have you punished, which I now recognise as your standard feminist response to those who don't tow the line.

By high school, i realised I simply was more intelligent than any of my teachers. All of them incompetent, idiotic, failures at life incapable of any form of critical thinking.

OpenID cailcorishev July 01, 2013 8:46 PM  

How would a mom who never studied calculus teach their kid calculus ? how would a non chemist mom teach chemistry ? please ...

And yet it happens every year, and those kids tend to be better prepared for college than their peers who were taught by credentialed bureaucrats. Check your assumptions.

There are several options. First, if a kid has the aptitude for something like calculus, and he hasn't had his natural interest in learning stomped out of him by the school system, he can probably teach himself from books. If he gets stuck, there are tons of free online resources (I bet there's at least one free calculus forum where people help each other with problems), or he could ask an uncle or neighbor who's knowledgeable for occasional help.

If the kid has the aptitude, there's a good chance that one or both of his parents did too. They may not have retained mastery of it, but it may come back to them well enough to help the kid through a tough spot here and there.

Some homeschoolers co-op: different parents teach more advanced courses in their best areas. So the engineer dad teaches calculus for several families.

If all else fails, you can do what people do when they want their kids to learn the piano or how to dance: pay a private tutor.

Anonymous Brain Death July 01, 2013 9:14 PM  

I recall reading somewhere (no cite or source, sorry) that journalism was the LEAST rigorous of all majors. Education was the 2nd least rigorous.

I guess that would explain the left wing bias in the media and education?

Blogger Unknown July 01, 2013 11:01 PM  

"And sweetheart I dont work for companies I own them."

To reply to the chorus of the old song, Yes, I'll let you call me sweetheart.

And do get your one of your purchasing department managers to put some apostrophes in the nearest office supplies cabinet.

Perhaps your employees are from the subset of the population who lack the basic writing, reading comprehension, and arithmetic skills that one would call reasonable. There are many such companies doing yard work and pool cleaning and I can understand your confusion if your run some of them.



Anonymous p-dawg July 02, 2013 12:52 AM  

"Perhaps your employees are from the subset of the population who lack the basic writing, reading comprehension, and arithmetic skills that one would call reasonable."

You mean "those who have graduated from public schools", right?

Anonymous Luke July 02, 2013 10:17 AM  

There is NO chance of even halfway fixing the public schools (defined as pre-1965 levels of achievement) until IMO ALL of the following are instituted:

1) barring anyone holding an Education degree, or having ever held membership in the NEA from setting foot on school grounds, except in the sole capacity of a parent of their own children;

2) ending ESL/bilinguil/special ed classes;

3) ending social promotion, where if a kid doesn't test at at least grade level in all areas, he doesn't get promoted;

4) ending tenure and affirmative action for school employees;

5) shutting down the Fedgov Dept. of Education, with a lifetime ban on its employees working in gov't at any level (most especially schools);

6) where possible, use textbooks written pre-1965 (and this would be doable much of the time);

7) remove known homosexuals, frivorcees, mothers of bastards, cohabitators, atheists, socialists, feminists, Muslims, and pagans from school employment;

8) do not use classroom materials at all contributed to or influenced by anyone in #1, #5, #7, #14;

9) end "mainstreaming" of the screwed up (mentally or otherwise);

10) encourage homeschooling;

11) high schools should teach during core hours ONLY Literature, Writing, History, Mathematics, and Science (the actual bodies of knowledge, not "how do I feel about the Earth", or in general any course that did not exist in 1965);

12) both require teachers of most subjects have degrees in their field, and pay widely differing salaries to teachers of different subjects (yes, the Chemistry and Computer teachers will likely make >2x as much as the History or English teachers; if those teachers dislike that, the solution is for them to go to night school on their own dime and get degrees in one of those subjects);

13) end school organizations from state agencies down to local schools the right to communicate with the Federal Government in any way (other than occasionally arresting criminals);

14) add to #1 anyone holding any degree from proven crappy colleges such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, UCLA, Brown, Dartmouth, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, known liberal colleges in the NE, and the like;

15) have affirmative action for (native-born citizen men only) such that primary schools end up with at least 1/3 male teachers, and 2/3 men teachers in high school;

16) encourage employers of even fast-food/retail/other minimum-wage employment to routinely look at school transcripts as part of whom they decide to hire;

17) allow students to legally leave schools at age 15 (see Ed Banfield's "The Unheavenly City Revisited" for reasoning);

18) have outside personnel proctor and grade screening/graduation tests;

19) encourage vouchers.

I could come up with more, but that's a fair start.

Anonymous WaterBoy July 02, 2013 12:58 PM  

Unknown: "...put some apostrophes in the nearest office supplies cabinet."

They'll fit quite nicely next to the virtual scissors for snipping extraneous words and letters:

"And do get your one of your...if your run some of them.

You can also understand that making occasional mistakes while typing doesn't render a person stupid.

Can't you?

Anonymous Anonymous July 06, 2013 1:59 PM  

I realize that anonymous comments are unwelcome, but I feel that I have something important to add to this conversation and hope that my comment will be allowed to stand. I am working on an project related to this topic, and there is an important connection that is being missed: The relationship between easy Teacher Ed programs at the university level and the continued encroachment of state and federal governments into our classrooms. I'll explain it as succinctly as possible.

Decades ago, the classroom teacher at the secondary level was expected to be an 'expert' in his or her field and in his or her classroom. This meant that he or she was expected to have a full degree in his or her field. A biology teacher was a person with a biology degree, a math teacher was someone with a mathematics degree. What changed?

Government started to mandate 'standards', not of teacher intelligence or competency, but of student performance. Student performance, of course, was to be measured by periodic, high-stakes tests. The incentive for teachers, and for the institutions which trained teachers, shifted from creating 'experts' in a particular field to creating teachers who could execute behaviors that raised test scores. The focus of teacher college shifted from content knowledge to 'pedagogy' and 'methods' of teaching. We didn't need experts in a subject, we needed people who executed the proven methods of "effective instruction".

60 years ago, if you wanted to teach high school history, you got a history degree. Today, you take a few history classes on top of countless "methods" courses, which are focused not on history but on teacher classroom behaviors ("best practices"). These courses are much easier than 400 level history courses, and they are graded almost entirely subjectively. Thus, any idiot can pass these courses, and you end up with lower IQ's in the classroom.

When teacher colleges replaced 300/400 level content courses with "education methods" and pedagogy courses, becoming a teacher became something that literally anyone could do. 60 years ago, upper-level coursework weeded out the lowest performers. Today, those low performers make it through. Simple as that.

Want to fix the "dumb teacher" problem? Get government/bureaucracy out of the classroom at the middle and secondary school levels. Let anyone with a 4 year degree in a subject teach that subject. If they aren't good teachers, they won't stick around anyways. This will filter out those who were incapable of passing the upper-level courses, raise the average intelligence of faculties across America, and improve the quality of education our students recieve.

(I am a full-time secondary school teacher in Ohio).

Anonymous Anonymous July 10, 2013 12:25 AM  

Full Time Ohio Teacher -

State & Fed level governments are the only polity with the resouces to force the teacher's union to conform to some kind of performance standards. And I hate to say it but they have almost universal mandate from liberal and conservatives to do so. So telling the gov to stay out without offering a viable performance alternative is so much sound & fury. Do you have another yardstick in mind?

- Azimus

Anonymous Anonymous July 26, 2013 5:45 PM  

Azimus:

The main fallacy that must be overcome is that we can effectively or fairly evaluate the quality of a teacher once he or she is actually IN the classroom. The reality is that there is too much subjectivity involved in the process for any such evaluations to have merit. At both the state and federal level, we have tried countless metric-based approaches to teacher evaluation, only to watch them become tools for nepotism and/or not be taken seriously by the teachers (who understand first-hand that it's an arbitrary and subjective exercise, so why even worry about it?).

As I said before, the solution is to treat teachers the way we treat lawyers and doctors: we attack the Teacher Ed programs at universities. This way, instead of trying to control what teachers "do" in the classroom, we can control the quality of the individuals we let into the classrooms in the first place. The reason there are some low-quality teachers is that Teacher Ed is a program that, relative to engineering or law, is low-rigor. We need to stop letting morons slip through and get these credentials.

I don't really care what form it takes. Make the Praxis tests harder, mandate 400 level coursework even for kindergarten teachers, add a thesis component, hell... make them pass an IQ test. It doesn't really matter. As long as, in the end, we can agree that only a person of a certain quality can pass these programs, we can be reasonably well-assured that the people in our classrooms are competent.

This works for other professions, and there is no reason that it would not work for teachers. Like lawyers and doctors, teachers see themselves as professionals who are practicing an art, and they will never accept someone "evaluating" them based on arbitrary and subjective criteria. They will, however, accept that it should be harder than it is to become a teacher.

-Full Time Ohio Teacher

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