Saturday, April 21, 2012

Do it for the kids….and pay more.

I’m still trying to figure out why I have to pay for a teaching credential every five years.  As if the initial payment, the thousands of dollars of education, and the money spent on keeping myself educated isn’t enough, now the State of California has recommended that the cost of a credential rise from $55 to $70.  The 27% increase isn’t going to necessarily break my bank (one less ballpark beer dammit), but we are talking about an institution who does very little except push paper.  Seriously.  I don’t even get checked for professional development hours anymore, although I do enough in six months to easy satisfy what California requires.   

The legislative analyst gave a very logical reason for the hike in teacher credentialing fees; because it hasn’t risen since 1999.  That’s an idiotic excuse of course and a perfect fit for a government that has idiots like Doug LaMalfa balking at raising taxes while sucking down over $4 million in federal subsidies.  I don’t see much argument from fiscal Conservatives that this government fee goes up when less and less teachers are getting into the workforce.  Not much of an incentive.

Which brings to this chart.

image  

The State of California is not getting a lot of new teachers into the profession.  Credentials issued in 2010-11 were down nearly 7% from the year prior, and credentials issued since 2005 has shrunk by one-third.  That’s San Diego Padres scary when you realize that the population has not dropped at all and funding for the profession has been cut drastically.  So much for the eighth largest economy in the world caring about the next generation.

Instead of fixing the incentive problem for teaching (which is less about pay than you think) some will point towards the two classic “reforms” within education. 

Solution A:  Charter schools.  That way we can pick and select the best students, get fantastic scores, and maybe even get a visit from the County Superintendent of Schools when he/she isn’t wandering the halls of the County Schools office making sure pictures are straight.

Solution B:  Sal Khan.  Students will excel when plopped down in front of a computer and “interacting” with Khan’s smooth tones.  They might even get an education between updating their Facebook status, figuring out how to Pin an Algebra formula to their phone, and taking Instagram photos making pouty faces like Snooki from Jersey Shore. 

Oh well.  I guess I’ll fork over the extra $15 every five years so someone at the California Teacher Credentialing office can tell me they don’t take phone calls.  Like I have a choice.

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